May 2016 - Sergey Burdukov


Good start so far Sergey, the composition is much better now that you have lowered that dark buillding, and the city extension works also works well.

Regarding the elevator however, I feel as though unless the viewer was told the background structure was an elevator, they may assume it was just a very impressive skyscraper instead of an elevator.

The twisting architecture is cool, keep it, but maybe break it up a bit to sell the elevator look a bit more.

I prefer the original grade you had in WIP 1.1, the colours feel more natural and realistic.

Keep it up Sergey, you’re doing well


Thank you for your feedback, Andrew!

Yeah, I just rushed a bit with the colors in this WIP, but it’s just cosmetics - I will carefully do it in the final version)

I do have an idea to add a couple of “holders” (don’t know the exact term) similar to that support construction of the rocket when it sits before launch. And some futuristic bridges across the channels.


Okay, the next WIP:

  • added rocket holders to the skyscraper to make it look more interesting
  • added a bridge over the channel
  • reworked some of the buildings

WIP 1.3

WIP 1.4


Hey Sergey, welcome to the challenge! One of the most gratifying things on theses challenges is seeing artists improve. Your progress from your thumbs to this WIP has been great!

I like how you’re beginning to break up the cityscape with water streams, I think you can play with the streams form and perspective more to give an increased sense of depth on your DMP. A great example here from Jaime Jasso -

Just my 2 cents, hope it helps! :keenly:


Thanks, Liane!
I will definitely experiment with those and try to add some more of unusual architecture =)


When I look at your progress I have a moments of regret that I abandoned blue sky for more sunset scene ;). I really like where this is going. Details which youv’e added to the skyscraper really makes it look more interesting and I like your new color scheme. As for possibilities of improvements… of course it,s just me, but that almost-black building really drags my attention (as if it would be the most important object), and more distant water seems to be a bit oversturated (in relation to the distance).

Overall - I really enjoy your vision :).



Thank you for your input, Jonatan! I really appreciate you guys helping me out =)
I’ll try to consider everyone’s suggestion on the next WIP.


Tried to cover all your points (from WIP 1.4 to WIP 1.5):

  • added some details to the canals (boats, texture and divisions in the BG)
  • reduced black building to the original height
  • played with the clouds a bit (not sure about their complexity)
  • started to make conjunctions between buildings (to make more unusual architectural solutions)

Original Plate

WIP 1.4

WIP 1.5


Hey Sergey) Nice progress so far =)

I like how u solved the citsycape and flooded it with water, that is pretty darn cool decision) Now the water should be more integrated in the shot, more cast shadows on it and stuff like parked boats should help)

Overall it is going to a great place, a lot more work ahead, but you are getting there, man) Keeep going) Push it)


Thanks, Alik!
Hah… I’d much rather prefer if it was a lot less work ahead, considering the amount of time I’ve spent on it so far%))
Although most of the time was the experimentation. And as the result I flooded the city not only with water but with lots of details that I find hard to keep up with ^^’
Really glad that you guys help me out with tracking those down.


Great progress Sergey! One of my favorite in the challenge. Cant wait to see it finished… however I hate to see the deadline approaching ;).



Thank you so much, Jonatan! However, I envy you guys, cause you can model and render things out%))
And I’m stuck with refs, that I find =)


You shouldn’t be envy - refs gives great results. Especially in terms of photorealism. Unless you are extremely good at 3D (I’m not… yet :wink: ) it’s hard to achieve it that way. But if you would like to add 3D to your arsenal (if not for the whole scene, then at least to render some elements)… I don’t want to fall in endless debates which software is “the best of all”, but I could recommend (from my experience) Blender. It’s free (really amazing that such a great tool is free) and very powerfull. For some it seems to be not to intuitive at the start but go beyond start is worth the effort. And there’s many knowledge to grab in the infinite web :).



Well, I poked around Maya and C4D for quite a while, I’d much prefer the latter, but most of the studios as far as I know, use the former =)
Blender is more complicated in terms of free\paid video-materials you can find on the Internet. For example for setting up the projections for MP workflow or certain render-engines.

And for now I’ve decided to have my 2D skills on a decent level first)


Looks great! I am using Maya and Max, they are pretty much the same, with slight advantages going either way. But Max is always the one I end up choosing.

Don’t beat your self up to much about the 3D part. Usually you can get away with minimal modelling in matte painting, and adding details and textures in photoshop.

In the end, it’s all about what you are comfortable with.
Keep it up!


Thanks for cheering me up, Felipe!)
Unfortunately nowadays it is more of a requirement than one’s preference)
Sure you can choose not to go into that too much, but there always be people who will, and they will be able to do more)
So yeah, I do prefer starting with 2D and Photoshop techniques, but at the same time keep in mind that I’ll have to include 3D in my work someday, and the sooner the better =)


I agree with you regarding C4D, it is much more intuitive to use than Maya, but you’re right regarding more studios using Maya.

I used Maya for years then decided to use C4D for a while, then went back to Maya because of that reason.

You don’t really need to know how to set up photorealistic renders, although this isn’t a bad thing, but being able to quickly project some photo textures over simple geometry to achieve the same result is what matte painting is all about.

I would stick with Maya, Nuke and Photoshop as your core software, check out by Garrett Fry, it’s a great knowledge resource for what you need to know in terms of skillsets.


Yup you are right, in this industry the more you know, the better. Unfortunately, there are so many packages out there its tough to know them all. I cant say much about C4D or blender but Maya is good choice. I invested in a few months on Digital Tutors when i was starting out. Its a good start and pretty cheap


Thanks for the tips, Andrew. Actually, I did participate in the Camera Projection Boot Camp, so I have pretty good idea what lies ahead of me in this field of work =D

Actually I was comparing them just by walking through their introduction courses on both Maya and C4D =)


Okay, the final WIP 1.6 before I post the final version:

  • redid base for the elevator
  • changed the bridge to cruise liner deck serving as a bridge
  • decided not to overload the sky and kept clouds simpler
  • added details to the river and its bank
  • added some other minor details

Some of the elements are hand-drawn, but I hope at this resolution they won’t be noticeable that much =D
WIP 1.5

WIP 1.6